"A Pro invests as much money, as many times, for as long as required for the situation to attain Clarity. This Clarity allows only two outcomes, Dead or Liquid. When a Pro declines the invitation to invest in a follow-on round, it means they’ve reached Clarity: In the eyes of the Pro who declines to invest, the company is Dead, their initial stake is worthless. Write it off and move on, no tears, no recriminations."
I don't know much about VC, but it seems like this can't possibly be true. Aren't there times when a VC invests, and then declines a followup round because they still like the company but don't want any more exposure to their industry or country? And if a company is doing a follow up round valued at $X, any estimated valuation between $0 and $X-1 should be low enough that the VC doesn't invest in that round. There's no reason to assume it's always $0.
Gassée is shorthanding a bit. VC is more specialized now than it was in 1990 when Be was getting funded. So now, there may be structural reasons. A seed fund isn't going to carry you through A, B, .... Still, his central point about clarity remains. But clarity will be different for different VCs with different investment hypotheses.
well, i have to be honest and say that, if be had not been on the ropes, i would never have been hired. in the early days, the company was able to attract the best of the best of the best. i am a pretty decent programmer, but not at the AAAA level of the early guys. by the time of the internet appliance pivot, the superstars had all left for greener pastures.
by the time i got there, the company was pretty much dead. we were working on the Sony eVilla, which nobody believed in. it was a massive failure.
after that, i lost my taste for “the big leagues.” i am not willing to go through the standard “implement a b-tree on a whiteboard” interview, and i always want to work remotely, so no google, microsoft, facebook, amazon (etc) jobs for me. i have been working in small shops since then.
The kicker is towards the end. Be gets saved, but the terms are usurious from the early investors' viewpoint. And there's not much the latter can do about it since their own pockets aren't deep enough. Ergo, better go straight for the deep pocketed Pro, and stay friends with your relatives as a bonus.
His point on Clarity is also spot on:
> A Pro invests as much money, as many times, for as long as required for the situation to attain Clarity. This Clarity allows only two outcomes, Dead or Liquid. When a Pro declines the invitation to invest in a follow-on round, it means they’ve reached Clarity: In the eyes of the Pro who declines to invest, the company is Dead, their initial stake is worthless. Write it off and move on, no tears, no recriminations.
I loved BeOS, I bought a copy in 1999 or thereabouts.
I would have loved BeOS to succeed, but perhaps that memo shows a lot about why Be failed.
That note does seem totally cool on a technical level, but I wonder, was the thing that Be needed (as a company) most, at the time that memo was written, the things in that memo? I mean having "live drag" of folders is nice, but is that the sort of reason someone choose an OS or a computer?
I mean, I reckon, when developing a product, you need to focus on the "critical path" from where you are now to having a product everyone wants to buy. Live folder dragging, while nice, isn't on it I reckon. Maybe MIME content-types instead of file extensions isn't either. And while your developers are working on things that aren't on the critical path, you have the opportunity cost that they could have been working on something that was on the critical path.
Be fell victim to anticompetitive practices by Microsoft. There was a PC made by Hitachi that dual booted beos, and the deal was that the user was supposed to be able to choose windows or beos. Microsoft then forced Hitachi to single boot windows and the user effectively wound up with a hard drive that was literally half inaccessible to the OS because beos was there - it was difficult to activate the beos partition.
Honestly my feeling as a developer is that go to market is really hard. I know how to solve technical problems. I don't know that there is a consistent and reliable way to get customers. Be's problem was that, plus more, because of Microsoft. Microsoft is very much a different company now.
A potential winner can't cross the line successfully unless they have leverage. Microsoft had a heavy hammer: put up with us or lose access to the mainstream market.
Disrupting such a market is of course the goal of any small innovator who needs cooperation from the other market participants.
Hmm. Not sure this comment of mine advamces the conversation here. But anyway "willingness to be a thug" is perhaps necessary to create a singularity like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, but not sufficient. And I'm not sure it's even necessary.
You're right, at least partially, they did so when in position of power.
But even then, their IBM deal was almost a scam (exagerating of course). They sold something they didn't even have at the time.. high risk gambling mentality. It's a bit similar to roughing competition up.
It's not like there's nothing Be could have done; they could have sold and marketed their own PCs but they didn't. They thought they could draft off the Wintel PC market without doing their own marketing and it didn't work. It's a dirty market and if you want to succeed you need serious money which they didn't have.
Successful founders of the company prepare a five-year financial plan, a technology development roadmap and a combined sales funnel. With many funding options available, raising seed funds can be a confusing and somewhat overwhelming exercise.
Here I found an article there are few things to avoid while raising seed funding: https://mobinspire.com/blogs/5-things-you-should-avoid-while...